Police Engage in 17-Hour Standoff With Empty House

Serious situation turns into wasted time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A better-safe-than-sorry policy ruined an entire day for San Jose police.

    One day, San Jose, Calif., police are going to look back at this weekend and laugh.

    On Saturday, officers set up a perimeter around a home, after receiving reports of armed man threatening to kill himself. There was only one problem -- nobody was home.

    When police first arrived at the residence, they heard gunfire, said San Jose police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez. That's when they surrounded the home and shut down the block.

    Seventeen hours later, a man called 911, saying he was uninjured and had left the home before police set up the perimeter.

    "It must have been between the round going off and the perimeter being set," Lopez said.

    The caller told police he had assault rifles in the home and gave authorities permission to enter, Lopez said.

    Police traced the call to a pay phone less than a block away from the home, Lopez said. By the time, police got to the pay phone -- yup, you guessed it -- the man was already gone.